_ The Garden of Heroes : Ronit Mirsky

Every town or city in Israel has its own place of memory, the town’s memorial site. In my hometown, this place is called “The Garden of Heroes”. It is a very small park, opposite the city hall, with a paved square. In this square every year, on the Memorial Day of the Fallen Soldiers, the town’s memorial ceremonies are held.
During my school years I attended the ceremony every year, as an active member of a youth group. I even attended the ceremony for a few years after graduating from high school and leaving my hometown – it was a kind of reunion, a gathering, a chance to meet up with old school mates.
When I was about fifteen or sixteen years old, I participated in the Memorial Day ceremony itself. I was my youth group’s representative at the honorary guard for the ceremony: when a representative from each part of the community and all the youth and community groups stand in front of “The Wall of Names” during the ceremony. As a participant in this ceremony, I needed to attend the rehearsals, then on the day itself, stand still throughout the ceremony, wearing my youth group’s uniform: a worker’s blue shirt with a red string. I spent a great deal of time in front of this Wall of Names.
When I started working on my research project, I wanted to go and “collect” textures of walls of names. As hard as I tried, I couldn’t remember if my hometown had one of those walls. I had no recollection of this place. Eventually, I called one of my childhood friends to ask if she could recall such a wall in our town. She immediately remembered the wall and reminded me of the “Garden of Heroes”. I had completely forgotten the place existed.